Microsoft Makes Enterprise Case for Windows Mobile 7

The timing is a little suspect in the wake of the Monday’s Apple iPhone 4 presentation, but Microsoft has laid out the business case for Windows Phone 7, the latest version of their mobile operating system, in a blog entry that touts its integration with, what else, Microsoft products and services. Here’s the lowdown.

In the course of laying out Windows Phone 7’s value proposition, Microsoft Sr. Director of Business Experiences Product Management, Windows Phone Paul Bryan highlights the new focus on security and a feature called the “Office hub” which integrates mobile versions of their productivity apps into a single interface.

But the real takeaway from his argument, to my eyes, was his reiteration that there are very few enterprises not somehow invested in Microsoft’s product ecosystem. Among the major selling points of Windows Phone 7, Bryan writes, are its deep integration with Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft BPOS.

The other points made include corporate-level security features like allowing remote wipes, setting password strength requirements, and SSL data transmission. But Bryan also says that in “highly managed” corporate scenarios, an upgrade might not be the right move - yet.

So Microsoft’s position is basically reminding the world that their products remain the standards, for better or for worse. But companies like HyperOffice provide Exchange with healthy competition, complete with an ActiveSync alternative that works across any mobile platform.

The market will decide Windows Phone 7’s ultimate fate. But on the device front, Apple iOS 4.0 makes an equally compelling case in terms of security, and Microsoft has plenty of competition in the services market to worry about. Which is to say, I think that if Microsoft wants to convince the IT channel that Windows Phone 7 is the real deal, they need to make a stronger argument.

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